Gatwick airport has sky-high plans to use emergency runway regularly
By Sophie Ladd | 27th August 2021
Gatwick Airport has announced that it is going ahead with plans to convert its emergency runway into one that is used regularly for routine flights.
The airport is hoping to have its standby runway up and running by 2029.
This is welcome news for the travel industry, after a turbulent year and a half for travel caused by the covid-19 pandemic, with low passenger numbers and a traffic light system of countries that are and are not safe to travel to.
As the proposed Northern Runway plans are considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the airport plans to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the scheme. Before the application is submitted Gatwick will be running a twelve-week public consultation, for anyone who is interested in reviewing or commenting on the proposals, from 9th September 2021 to 1st December 2021.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer, Gatwick Airport, said: "While we are currently experiencing low passenger and air traffic volumes due to the global pandemic, we are confident that Gatwick will not only fully recover to previous passenger levels, but has the potential to continue to grow back into one of Europe's premier airports. Our plans to bring our existing Northern Runway into routine use will not only help to secure that growth but will also ensure many thousands of additional jobs and a vital boost to the economy for our local region.
"Aside from the economic benefits our plans will have, we remain committed to our sustainability goals, and our Northern Runway plans are designed to be a low impact way of unlocking new capacity from our existing infrastructure, much of which is already in place."
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